Arguing Against Existing Definitions

READ: Essay Assignment Three
Essay Three – Arguing Against Existing Definitions
Essay Three asks you to pick a word or phrase and argue that the prevalent or dominant definition is incomplete, outdated, or inadequate in some other way. Offer a redefinition which proposes a new use for or meaning of the word. Your redefinition will extend beyond a dictionary definition to reflect your unique perspective. Essentially, your goal is to argue for a reconsideration of and a new use for the term.
Research your chosen word or phrase in a focused manor. Offer a history of the word along with instances when it has been used in the standard, inadequate way, as you see it. Make choices about which aspects of the definition that you will include. Be sure to acknowledge the term’s full complexity; avoid oversimplifying or flippantly dismissing its historical usage. Ultimately, though, you will assert the supremacy of your redefinition.
You may take to task a word or phrase that you perceive to have negative connotations and re-inscribe a positive meaning (i.e. “feminist” or “conservative”). You may take a concept that seems simple and problematize it, noting its multi-faceted nature (“patriotism” or “fatherhood”). You may choose a word that you feel is often overused or misused and offer your reading (“hero” or “evil”). Whatever word or phrase you choose, try to choose something that genuinely interests you and of which you are interested in researching, exploring, and arguing about.
Make sure to support your claims with examples, concrete explanations, and plenty of details. As well, use six to eight sources. At least four of them must come from the Pierce College library. You may use books, ebooks, articles from the databases, or other library resources. If you use a dictionary definition, I would like you to use the Oxford English Dictionary. You can access the full dictionary at either Pierce College campus library. Avoid sources such as Wikipedia, ehow, and other sources of pre-digested information.
Your essay should be 7 pages, typed, double-spaced pages in MLA format.
Use of Citation:
Avoid using block quotations. Try to extract short, concise quotes from your sources. You need to have ample evidence to support your claims, but at no time should your voice get lost.
Make sure to set up quotations so that they are well integrated and their context is clear. Do not plug them in and hope that your reader can understand the context. Remember that quotes always need to be part of your own sentences.

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